DIGNITY…the quality of being worthy of honor or respect. ~Merriam-Webster
As traditionally defined, DIGNITY appears synonymous with RESPECT. As two distinct Words of the Week, they must not be. A key word between them is our clue.
While we earn respect through our actions and deeds, we are worthy of DIGNITY through one common rite…birth. As in birthright.
BIRTHRIGHT…a right, privilege, or possession to which a person is entitled by birth. ~Merriam-Webster
So, if we are born with it, how do we lose it? This is where, I believe, DIGNITY and RESPECT diverge…we lose DIGNITY when we believe in the berating…
BERATE…to scold or condemn vehemently and at length. ~Merriam-Webster
DIGNITY wounds are different than traditional wounds. They are much more injurious and worrisome:
The suffering that has been created by being treated as less than and inferior is shattering to one’s identity. People should not be made to feel that there is something wrong with an inherent part of who they are. We are all vulnerable to such degrading treatment but those who have been particularly degraded by homophobia, racism, sexism and other societal ills deserve to be acknowledged for the pain they have suffered. Their dignity has been trampled on and they need to know that there is nothing wrong with them; instead, something wrong happened to them. ~Donna Hicks, Ph.D.
Something wrong happened to you. Recognize it and move forward…as I do (often).
- The deathbed scenario…if said person were on their deathbed and they said,”You know I’ve always loved you…I’m so sorry for treating you x.y.z…” would you act differently today toward them?
- Are there elements of yourself that you did not create? Let’s uncreate those…
- Imagine yourself as a young baby and see your perfection…are there things you berate about yourself that you would / should not?
- Are there toxic people who berate you that you need to “lose” to be you? Amazing you…
- What activities / relationships make you feel most dignified? And, why aren’t you doing more of those?
Do you want to explore DIGNITY further? Click here for quotes, mantras and our willPower dedicated weekly exercise.